Facebook US Market Share Increases at the Expense of MySpace

October 16th, 2009       | Digg | Sphinn | Del.icio.us | StumbleUpon |    97 Comments »

Facebook Increases Market ShareGuest Post by Shaun Austin - Senior Research Manager/Entertainment Media Research

Recent data released from Hitwise shows that in the US, Facebook has increased it’s market share to 59% an increase of 194% from September last year, while MySpace has decreased to 30% a 55% decrease from last year.

I can’t say these figures come as a surprise. In July this year we released our Digital Entertainment Survey and some people raised a few eyebrows when we said MySpace was in decline. While the data recently released from Hitwise is US centric, it’s a trend that we believe has already happened in the UK.

Our figures show that 54% of UK consumers have a profile on Facebook, while for MySpace it is currently on 21%, but in 2008 it was 39% – a sharp decline, which is now being validated by site traffic. We didn’t have any data on Twitter in 2008, but in 2009 11% of UK consumers say they have a profile on Twitter and although that’s a fairly rapid rise, other recent Hitwise traffic data has also shown that Twitter has started to plateau.

Table showing % of UK consumers 15-54 with profile on each social network:

% have a profile on site

Total 2008

Total 2009

% pts Diff

Facebook

55%

54%

-1%

Friends Reunited

36%

25%

-11%

Myspace

39%

21%

-18%

Bebo

24%

13%

-11%

Yahoo! Groups

14%

11%

-3%

Twitter

N/A

11%

N/A

MSN Groups

15%

10%

-5%

MSN Spaces

17%

9%

-8%

Last.fm

6%

8%

+2%

LinkedIn

5%

6%

+1%

Hi5

9%

6%

-3%

WAYN

9%

5%

-4%

StumbleUpon

4%

5%

+1%

While the above figures are for all 15-54 year olds in the UK, the results do differ significantly by demographics. MySpace is much more popular among younger respondents, but key to the success of Facebook is that it is popular across all demographics.

Our data also revealed a decrease in incidence for most of the other social network sites, however there are several social network sites with smaller market share that did show increases. Last.fm increased from 6% in 2008 to 8% in 2009, while Digg increased from 2% to 4%, LinkedIn from 5% to 6% and StumbleUpon from 4% to 5%. Perhaps these sites will be the next sites to really boom, with the recent recession and increase in unemployment my money is on LinkedIn, however I don’t think it will ever get to the same heights of Facebook.

It’s clear that the first challenge is to get consumers using your site, one that Facebook, Myspace and Twitter have all achieved. The second challenge is to keep them there and while the jury is still out for Myspace and Twitter, it seems Facebook is doing the best job of that at the moment.

It’s clear from the Hitwise data that if that downward trend continues then MySpace could be in real trouble, so will they be able to arrest this decline? Only time will tell. We will be able to provide some answers in the 2010 Digital Entertainment Survey.

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